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Hinds Wins Mass. State Senate Seat, Farley-Bouvier Re-Elected

Adam Hinds celebrates his election to the Massachusetts State Senate Tuesday night in Pittsfield.
Jim Levulis
Adam Hinds celebrates his election to the Massachusetts State Senate Tuesday night in Pittsfield.

Voters in western Massachusetts are sticking with Democrats in the State House. Adam Hinds cruised to victory in the race to replace retiring Massachusetts State Senator Ben Downing. Hinds, a Democrat, beat Republican Christine Canning by a roughly 70 to 30 split.

“After nine months I’m excited to put the campaign behind us and start doing the real work that motivates you to get in the race in the first place,” Hinds said. “I’m incredibly grateful for the voters giving me the trust to try to do a lot of good work.”

Downing, a popular Democrat who has represented the 52 communities of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District for a decade, endorsed Hinds in October. With many initial priorities in mind, Hinds says he anticipates a smooth transition from Downing.

“It’s a list includes doubling down on the economy and getting our infrastructure in place be it broadband or transportation elements,” Hinds said. “Making sure our small and middle-sized businesses are growing. I’ve been very adamant about talking about school funding. Ben Downing has been great on energy and accelerating the transition to green energy. That’s a priority for me as well.”

Pittsfield voters also decided to send Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier back to the State House. The Democrat secured a third full two-year term representing the Third Berkshire District. Farley-Bouvier beat Independent Pittsfield City Councilor Chris Connell 66 to 34 percent.

“The voters made a really clear that they’re happy with the direction we’re going with me in office,” Farley-Bouvier said. “That they care about a progressive, effective legislator. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they see in me. I’m really proud to be part of team Pittsfield.”

Having already run a coordinated campaign with Hinds, Farley-Bouvier says she expects to work well with the freshman senator.

“Pittsfield is about a fourth of the [State Senate] district so Pittsfield needs to be a priority for him,” Farley-Bouvier said. “It’s always all about team Pittsfield. Adam is now a part of team Pittsfield and I think he’s going to be an effective legislator.”

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, a Democrat who was elected in 2015, embraced Farley-Bouvier with a hug during Tuesday night’s joint election watch party in the city.

“Now we got a real chance to work together,” Tyer told Farley-Bouvier.

As co-chair of the House’s Progressive Caucus, Farley-Bouvier says paid family leave and criminal justice reform are high on her list for the upcoming legislative session.

Pittsfield voters also approved the Community Preservation Act by a 63 to 37 percent split. The 1 percent property tax surcharge will fund historic preservation, open space and housing efforts. Joe Durwin of Preserve Pittsfield says a committee will be formed to develop potential projects.

“Right now the Parks Department’s priorities at the moment are really divided between Springside Park and Durant Park,” Durwin said. “We have new master plans for both of those parks and we’re looking at a number of different amenities, additions and things that need to be refurbished at both of those areas. Then there’s always a small wish list of basketball courts that need to be resurfaced and a number of different recreational projects that could be funded by CPA. So it’ll really depend on the community and the community preservation plan that we develop as a city from public input.

The CPA was also adopted in Springfield, Holyoke and Boston. 

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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